Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Revisiting an old thought

It's been a long time since I've posted.  It's been a long time since I've thought of anything I thought was post-worthy, and the past few months have been rough.  I am feeling much better now, and so I am back.

Between cancer, chemo, menopause, and aging in general, I've noticed a lot of changes.  My skin is wrinkling, my hair dry, crispy and breaking.  I've developed crow's feet, age spots, dry skin, etc.  For the past month or so I've been fighting these things with a vengence.  Retinol, hair treatments, eyelash-growing serums, and an obsession with user forums with tips to arm me for this war.  I've crushed up asprin to create facials, squeezed lemons, experimented with glycerin and learned makeup tips for "older eyes."  I've spent countless hours reading product reviews, home remedies, and slathering various products on my face.  I've learned what "milia" is, what causes it, and how to fight it.  I've learned that years of bad habits (going to bed without removing makeup, brushing my teeth too hard thinking it would get them extra clean, etc.) are catching up to me.  I've exfoliated, peeled, and spent more money than I should have on "age-defying" products.  I think, perhaps, maybe, my wrinkles may be slightly, a little bit, possibly, less noticeable than they were; it's probably all in my head.

Tonight I began thinking about a post I wrote a while back about aging.  I preached how we should embrace each wrinkle and gray hair... how each one is a representative of years we were given and experiences we were blessed with.  Tonight I wondered what happened to that attitude.  Then I realized I do still feel that way.  I am proud of my age and will tell anyone who asks I am 42 (of course their response of disbelief probably helps).  I hope to say someday that I am 45.  Then 50, 52, 55... I am grateful that I am aging.  That doesn't mean I can't try to do things to look my best:  looking good and feeling good go hand-in-hand.  It only means that I accept that I will never look 20 again.  I am not 20.  I am wiser, stronger, more experienced, calmer, and where I am supposed to be.  Every age has its benefits.  

While I'll try to keep my crow's feet at bay, I'll remember that I got them from all the beautiful, bright, sunny days I've been able to enjoy.  I'll try to hide my laugh lines as best as I can, but will also know that they came from years filled with joy and hysterical laughter.  I'll slather numerous products on my lips trying to fight those tiny lines around them, but will keep in mind that they got there from my often-present smile.  I'll do what I can to my hair and lashes to counteract the effects of chemo, but will also appreciate the extra time that chemo is giving me.  I don't have frown lines to fight, and never will. 

Tonight I concluded that I'm trying to grow old gracefully; I am hoping to grow old. 

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